Bloober Team, the developers behind Layers of Fear, have revealed the official gameplay trailer for Blair Witch – and it looks terrifying.
First things first: if you need a refresher, we've got the official reveal trailer in this article. The reveal trailer sets the scene for us: it's September 1996, and we're Ellis, a former police officer, joining the search for a boy who went missing in the Black Hills Forest. We, accompanied by our troubled past, go into the woods after him. We then forget the boy entirely as the Blair Witch-iness begins, and we start to comprehend the terror of what's really lurking in these trees.
Fortunately, we're not going in by ourselves; we'll have Bullet, our canine companion. He seems to be an integral part of the game— the player is encouraged to bond with him, as he'll have a set of skills to help.
Notably, when Ellis arrives at the forest, there are already a number of police cars there, but no sign of the officers. It'll be interesting to see if we find out what happens to them further into the game. Moving onto the gameplay trailer: it features the essential shaky breathing, quaky camcorder footage and dark, twisted trees that is expected from anything to do with the Blair Witch. This trailer also elaborates on how Bullet can be used, as it shows Bullet's icon over a rock, and Bullet then digging beneath it, suggesting that he can be commanded to look for items of importance. Aside from that, the trailer mostly continues to build upon the atmosphere of suspense and uncertainty.
A longer Blair Witch gameplay video from Game Informer gives up some more details. Bloober's gameplay trailer already showed that you can pet Bullet – which is critical for everyone to know. Red Dead Redemption 2 fans, for example, will know how hard it is to resist the urge to stop everything and stroke any dog which happens to pass by. But whereas Arthur would do a little head-scratch and move on, Ellis can give Bullet the proper attention he deserves. Bullet can also bring you items of interest or importance, or bark to alert you to them, and he can seemingly reach areas you can't. You can also send him to "seek" for you, and it sounds like his skills will be relied upon a lot. Bonding with Bullet will improve his skills, and render him more helpful to you.
Whilst the Blair Witch herself looks to be ominous by her absence, there will be contact with her "minions", who Ellis will have to directly engage with. The Game Informer team mention that they're unsure about the effect of seeing your enemy, and I agree that it'll be interesting to see how this affects the suspenseful atmosphere. It would of course be harder to make a game where there's no antagonistic force to go up against, but will it diminish the fear of the unknown, if you can actually sort of see the unknown? For dealing with enemies, you'll have the all-important and slightly unreliable torch, which can be used to blind or guard against them – but it's only a temporary measure, and it may also (probably, definitely) flicker at a crucial moment. It looks as though you'll also have a walkie-talkie in your inventory, for initial communications with the search party.
That's everything we know so far, but Blair Witch will be out on the 30th August this year, and we'll be keeping an eye on any related news until then. Will you be playing Blair Witch? What do you take away from these trailers? Let us know in the comments! Personally, I will be distraught if anything happens to Bullet...
Whilst you're waiting to get into the woods, have a look at some more games in the Action-Horror genre, as rated by the community.
We've got the full list of Blair Witch achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
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